Depleted MLPD to get new stun guns


Would help officers in fights, brawls, Chief says

Members of the Mammoth Lakes Police Department will get top-of-the-line TASER devices soon, according to Police Chief Dan Watson.

Citing a cut in the force because of austerity budget cuts earlier this year, Watson said the new devices would be particularly effective when just one officer is at the scene of a crime, fight or any other instance in which the officer feels threatened.

“We have TASERS,” Watson said, “but they’re an older generation, and all are beyond their recommended lifespan.”

The new devices would cost the department about $1,800 a piece, Watson said. He said the cost of the new technology would come from the $11,000 in budgeted funds that are to go toward improvements at the police station on Old Mammoth Road.

“It’s a very effective device,” Watson said of the TASER guns. “In a town like ours, we get a lot of intoxication and a lot of fights, and this is a good tool to neutralize someone.”

According to the company’s website, TASER devices can stop threats from up to 15 feet away by sending out a series of strong electrical pulses.

TASER devices are effective with a hit anywhere on the body.

As a bonus, Watson said, the new TASERS the MLPD will use also are quipped with a camera to record the actions and sounds of a suspect during a confrontation.

Watson said he did not know if the MLPD has actually used a stun gun, but said in the two-plus years he has spent here, there have been no incidents involving suspects and officers using TASER guns.